I really wish that eBay would provide a dump of the public tables of their Oracle database. My real interest is with arcade games. The root of my complaint is that "coin-operated" section has been broken down into subcategories that are inappropriate to the arcade collecting community. As a result, complete arcade games are all mixed together with pinball machines, slot machines, game PCBs, control panels, artwork, and memoriabilia. If you're just wanting arcade game PCBs, you're in for a real treat.
The other issue is that arcade game collectors may be interested in a certain set of titles. And some of these titles can go for weeks or months without being listed. (I have a certain fascination for Pulirula and Sega's Space Tactics, for example.) Do I have to manually search for it (and the two dozen other titles I'm interested in) every few days to catch what I'm interested in? Thanks for making shopping SOOOOOO inconvenient, eBay.
I've scratched my personal itch with an eBay search robot that manually performs searches and summarizes the results. So I don't have to waste my time searching for that Skull and Crossbones PCB that just isn't there. A lot of people could get some real use out of the robot I created, but as we all know, eBay would slap it down in a heartbeat if I shared the application.
An application I've been developing off-and-on on the side is the OPEN Video Arcade Collecting application. It would be great when presenting information about a game, such as Centipede, to along-side also display not only vendors which carry the game (and are quite willing to be linked), but auctions currently in progress for the game.
I can understand eBay's stubbornness. If they allow a site to put their listings side-by-side with listings of other sites, it makes listing an item at Yahoo that much more viable. But at the same time, I, the customer, am getting a raw deal. I'm denied seeing what eBay has along with other information.
"If you don't like it, why don't you go somewhere else?" I wish that were possible. However, eBay has completely enveloped the aftermarket for arcade games and arcade game components. There is no alternative to eBay at this time. Who knows. If I get just a bit more pissed about this, I might generate just enough motivation to create an uubersite that integrates information with auction items, and it structured in a format that makes sense and is targeted towards the arcade collecting community.
I think that's the secret to upheaving eBay. Don't try to duplicate their entire site. Aim at a niche and serve it VERY WELL. If done right, I can suck the wind out of their sales (pun intended). Of course, if a new site really needed a leg-up, it could possibly get around the whole eBay robot policy by allowing co-listings. That is, a user to mix local auctions with links to remote auctions. Its an idea, anyhow.
But in all of this, its not that I'm anti-eBay. I love eBay. I just wish it served ME, the collector, in a way that makes sense.